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In March of 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq on a number of specious pretexts. Three years, billions of dollars and thousands of lives later, the war's not over, and civil war ravages Iraq.

World-wide protests on March 18th marked the third anniversary of this regrettable outcome of the Bush foreign policy.

We in Sacramento had the choice of joining the 10,000 in S.F. protesting the war, or participating in Sacramento's own Iraq war protest on 16th and Broadway, across from the Tower Theater. Those who elected to take the Peace Action chartered bus from Sacramento to S.F. returned in time to join demonstrators at the Tower, and many did so. The photos below represent what we saw at both demonstrations.


The S.F. march started at the Civic Center and led through the downtown area before returning to the Center for more speeches. The first leg of the march led through a section of town called "Little Saigan," providing a small ironic moment for those with a sense of history.

The S.F. police were vigilant, shown here providing traffic control and surveillance of the 10,000 demonstrators. The march was well directed and monitored by the organizing anti-war ANSWER Coalition. There were no confrontations.

  "The CNA (California Nurses Association) passed a resolution at our convention last September, opposing the Iraq War and recommending immediate withdrawal. As nurses, we support veteran's social services for returning G.I.s." --Donna Carter, R.N.,Alta Bates Hospital


"We are the machinery--We can shut it down!" reads this shirt worn by SEIU Local 2 staffmember Heather Williams. "Labor's anti-war stance is as much about justice as it is about peace. There's a facade of peace in the U.S., but beneath it there is a lot of anger at all the injustice."

The words on this shirt are reminiscent of Mario Savio's famous speech at UC Berkeley in 1964 and still appropriate:

"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!" --Mario Savio

  An anti-war demonstration encompasses many groups: Under the banner of International ANSWER, these marchers call for an end to occupation (of Iraq and Palestine). "We need jobs, not war and occupation!"


The opportunity to participate in a Labor action occurred when the march passed the Hilton San Francisco on O'Farrell Street. Members of Local 2 (UNITE-HERE, hotel and textile workers union) are striking against 14 San Francisco hotels in an effort to win a contract.

Room cleaners, dishwashers, cooks, servers, bussers, bellpersons, and others have been in this contract battle for over a year. The flyer being distributed asks: "Will service sector jobs-- the core of our post-industrial economy--be welfare jobs, or will they be sustainable jobs that provide families a chance to realize their dreams?"


"JUSTICE" is what's called for, locally and globally. As unions strive to increase the rights and economic viability of workers at the worksite, the Peace and Justice movement demands change in a U.S. foreign policy currently based on the injustice of lies and the belief that regime change by force in someone else's country is OK.

  One of many colorful and often humorous signs: Another sign designated President Bush as "A Fossil Fool." A more grim banner read "War without end--Not in Our Name!" a reference to the Bush policy of pre-emptive strikes against anyone who looks threatening or has what U.S. corporations want.


And here we are, back in Sacramento, in front of Tower Records on 16th and Broadway, where a spirited group of Pro-Justice Anti-War Sacramentans demonstrated against the U.S. war in Iraq, while passing drivers honked in agreement.

AN ECCENTRIC OBSERVATION: While searching for Labor groups at the demonstration in S.F., we encountered what would seem statistically to be a large number of librarians. When asked, the librarians mentioned that cuts were being made in library programs, while funds for state-of-the- art library surveillance equipment were readily available.

Two years ago, we were interviewing and photographing union members gathered at the State Capitol to demand more funding for mental health programs. Here, again, there were librarians present. When asked why they were part of this lobbying group, the librarians said that the untreated mentally ill often hung out in libraries, where their illness caused them to behave inappropriately and disruptively, causing a problem for themselves and the library.

Are librarians the canary-in-the-mines of social dysfunction? If you know a librarian, watch and see what happens to them.....



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